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Common Shingle Application Mistakes

All successful roof projects require that the installers adhere to proper application methods. Improper workmanship contributes to a decrease in the roof systems service life. All types of roof systems — both steep-slope and low-slope applications — are prone to potential workmanship errors. In the case of steep-slope shingle applications, there are a number of common mistakes that should be avoided to ensure a long service life. A successful roofing project and satisfied client can be achieved if these common mistakes can be avoided in the field.

Mistake: Leaving out the starter strip.

Problem: Does not provide proper base for shingle application.

Proper application: Starter shingles should be applied at the rake and continue along the eaves. The starter course shingles should be cut to match the exposure of the existing first course. For remedial applications on three-tab shingles, this is 5 inches; for new construction, it is 9 inches. Trim approximately 6 inches off the length of the first shingle to offset or stagger the shingles from the first full course. Application should be in accordance with the shingle manufacturer’s latest printed specifications.

Mistake: Shingles do not overhang at the eaves.

Problem: Could contribute to roof blow-off.

Proper application: The shingles should overhang the eaves and the rakes by a minimum of 1/2 inch. There should be a 1/16-inch spacing between the shingles. Nailing should be completed 3 inches above the eaves using the proper amount of nails for the geographic wind zone.

Mistake: Improper shingle alignment.

Problem: Not aesthetically pleasing.

Proper application: Shingle alignment — both vertical and horizontal — is required. The best way to ensure that the shingles are horizontally aligned in new applications is by the use of a chalk line. On recover applications, the new shingles should be aligned and butted with the existing shingles. Set horizontal chalk lines every 10 inches from the bottom of the first course up the ridge. Set vertical chalk lines every 36 inches from the roof ridge to an end of every shingle along the first course.

Mistake: Improper shingle nailing.

Problem: Potential for roof blow-off.

Proper application: Install the proper amount of shingles required by the manufacturer in the specific geographic wind zone. Most three-tab shingles require four nails in typical applications and six nails in high-velocity wind zones. The placement of the nails is as important as the number of nails. Place nails in the manufacturer’s required placement areas. Most dimensional shingle manufacturers now provide shingle placement zones. Nails should be driven straight into the deck. Nailing from an angle should be avoided, and nails should penetrate through the deck a minimum of 3/4 of an inch. Standard roofing nails have barbed shanks and are typically 11-gauge or 12-gauge nails with heads from 3/8 to 7/16 of an inch in diameter.

Mistake: Use of asphalt-based cements for shingle repairs.

Problem: Incompatible materials will contribute to further shingle delamination.

Proper application: Asphalt-based cements should only be applied at the underside of shingles. Deteriorated shingles that show evidence of curling, cracking, splitting or openings should be replaced with new shingles.

Mistake: No underlayment application.

Problem: Roof leaks.

Proper application: Application of underlayment provides benefits to the roof system at the deck and shingle components. These benefits add to the long-term weatherproofing success of the roof system. Another primary reason for their use is that most building codes require the application of underlayments on steep-slope roofs. Underlayments are also required on lower slope (2:12 to 4:12) shingle applications. It is imperative that contractors familiarize themselves with the codes in their work areas. Installations that are not completed in accordance with codes can be very costly to remedy, particularly in this case where the remedy would include the removal of the steep-slope covering.
Underlayments serve as a weatherproofing barrier, protecting the deck from moisture prior to shingle application, and they can be applied to dry in the roof in advance of the shingle installation. This is of particular importance on new construction projects where there can be a lengthy lapse between deck installation and shingle application. Moisture absorption in the deck could lead to delamination or warping of the deck surface, providing an unsuitable long-term substrate.
In the completed system, the underlayment provides secondary protection against moisture infiltration. It prevents moisture from entering into the interior spaces if the shingles are lifted, displaced or torn. The underlayment also provides added protection to the applied shingles by separating the contact of wood resins and the shingles. Some wood resins can have an adverse effect on the shingles, contributing to deterioration over time. Underlayments also serve in leveling the deck by bridging over any slight irregularities and creating a flat and even surface for the shingle application.

Mistake: Improper termination of penetrations.

Problem: Roof leaks.

Proper application: Most residential roofs have soil stacks that require proper terminations. Apply shingles up to the vent pipe and cut an opening in the shingle that is set over the pipe. Set the shingle in an approved asphalt cement. Set the vent flange over the pipe — flat on the roof — in asphalt cement that has been evenly applied over the bottom shingle. Resume shingle application and set the successive courses around the pipe. Upper and side shingles that overlap the vent should be set in asphalt cement. The asphalt cement should be applied in an even application in moderation. Do not apply asphalt-based cement over the top of the shingle. Excessive asphalt cement application may cause blistering.
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9796 E. Vista Dr
Hillsboro, MO 63050
Charleston, SC 29412
New Look Builders
3931 Blue Bird Rd
Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006
Coomer Roofing Company
6204 South Harding Street
Indianapolis, IN 46217
Total Roofing & Reconstruction
3412 Langley Cir
Plano, TX 75024
Chase Construction North West Inc
11316 36th St E
Edgewood, WA 98372
Turtle Roofing
8404 Sterling St #1
Irving, TX 75063
Johnson Construction Company LLC
545 Metro Place S Suite 100
Dublin, OH 43017
American Dream Home Improvement - Indiana
11711 N Pennsylvania St #105
Carmel, IN 46032
Southern Home Services LLC
9307 Monroe Rd
Suite O
Charlotte, NC 28270
LeafGuard by Midlands Home Solutions
10416 Chandler Cir
La Vista, NE 68128
Crescent Movers
6321 N. Cicero Ave, Unit A
Chicago, IL 60646
Intech Equipment & Supply
1921 W. Grant St.
Phoenix, AZ 85009
Smart Care Exteriors
87 Main Street
Monroe, IL 06468
Sunset Hills Roofing
12981 Maurer Industrial Dr
Sunset Hills, MO 63127
Drytech Restoration Services
80 Central Ave.
Spring City, PA 19475
My-Pros roofing
4133 N Perryville Rd,Loves Park, IL 61111
Loves Park, IL, IL 61111
Allstate Roofing
2264 Fair Oaks Blvd Suite 204
Sacramento, CA 95825
Mountain Roof Repair 2183
pocono pines, PA 18350
Johnson Construction Company LLC
5357 Broadview Rd. Unit B
Parma, OH 44134
ABC Roofing Inc
624 Guilford College Rd
Greensboro, NC 27409
Leaf Gutter Guards - St Louis
1703 Delmar Blvd
St Louis, MO 40202
Precision Roofing Inc
22 Kerr Lane
Southfields, NY 10975
The Roof Maker Inc
38 Mercer Street
Bolivia, NC 28422
Rapid Roofing
5700 S Sheldon Rd
Canton, MI 48188
Quality Exterior Services LLC
234 Azores Dr
Slidell, LA 70458
Olneya Restoration Group
1887 Craig Road
St. Louis, MO 63146
American Dream Home Improvement - Illinois
3040 Finley Rd #200
Downers Grove, IL 60515
TCK Roofing
Mansion House
Elstree Road
Bushey Heath, NJ 07016
Shield Roofing & Construction LLC
200 Hale St
Charleston, WV 25301
Net Roofing
2525 W. Arkansas Ln
Arlington, TX 76010
Bone Dry Roofing
4715 Lima Rd
Fort Wayne, IN 46808
Sundollar Restoration, LLC
13119 Foster Ct
Carmel , MN 46033
Roof Worx LLC
12301 N Grant Street
Suite 130
Thornton, CO 80241
Seci Construction Inc
157 Robin Hood Rd
Clifton, NJ 07013
Epic Roofing & Exteriors Ltd.
2435 22 St NE
2435 22 St NE
2435 22 St NE
Calgary, AL AB T2E 8K8
Gemini General Contracting
121 South Walnut Street
Westfield, IN 46074
Millstream Construction
219 Naubuc Ave
East Hartford, CT 06118
Bone Dry Roofing
11368 Dorsett Rd
Maryland Heights, MO 63043
Art Construction of NW FL, LLC
11 West 23rd Street
Suite B4
Panama City, FL 32405
Final Touch Roofing
2518 1st St.
Rosenberg, TX 77471
Johnson Construction Company LLC
1707 N West St.
Lima, OH 45801
Johnson Construction Company LLC
2692 Madison Rd
STE N1-315
Cincinnati, OH 45208
Pitts Roofing
3917 Broadway Ave
Fort Worth , TX 76117
RSG Roofing LLC
5648 Eula Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45248
Pennington Roofers
3433 Highway 190 Suite 105
Mandeville, LA 70471
Mallard Construction & Roofing
3601 S I-35 Service Rd,Oklahoma City, OK 73129
Oklahoma City, OK 73129
Seneca Creek Home Improvement LLC
9909 Mainsail Dr
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
Roofs By Rodger
210 Sheridan St.
Longview, IL 61852
A.Clark roofing and siding
4631 12 Street N
Calgary, AL T2E 4R3
All Around Roofing and Exteriors Inc
1440 South Monroe St
Denver, CO 80210
Solution Roofing
77 W 200 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Rocky Mountain Snow Guards, Inc.
2055 S Raritan Street, Unit B
Denver, CO 80223
A-Top Roofing & Construction
77 Pension Road
Manalapan, NJ 07726
Klaus Larsen LLC
61 L Main St,Hebron, CT 06248
Hebron, CT, CT 06248
Tredent Contracting Services
237 46th street
Brooklyn, NY 11220
Complete Exteriors
4725 US-80
Pearl, MS 39208
Christian Brothers Roofing & Contracting, LLC
260 E Crossville Rd, Roswell, GA 30075, US
Roswell, GA, GA 30075
BOLT Construction and Roofing
746 Hanley Ind. Ct
Brentwood, MO 63144
Contract Exteriors
1991 Glenns Bay Rd #200
Myrtle Beach, SC 29575
Hooten Homes LLC
103 West 4th St.
Wentzville, MO 63385
Harmony Home Improvement
2389 Main St
Glastonbury, CT 06033
Pacific Exteriors LLC
14724 Bothell Way NE,Seattle, WA 98155
Seattle, WA, WA 98155
Roof Worx LLC
155 E Boardwalk Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80525
9277 Cordova Park Rd
Cordova, TN 38018
Infinity Home Improvement Inc
852 47th St SW
Wyoming, MI 49509
Colorado Roof Toppers
131 Hunters Cove Rd
Mead, CO 80542
Hustad Companies Inc
3236 County Hwy N
Cottage Grove, WI 53527
Meredith Home Improvements
2025 Borland Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15243
Summit Point Roofing
6352 E Fulton St
Ada, MI 49301
Roofing & Restoration Services of America
1605 E Terra Ln.
O'Fallon, MO 63366
DePalma Construction Inc
29 Tannery Rd
Dillsburg, PA 17019
Scholar Painting LLC
2 Klarides Village Drive
Seymour, CT 06483
Total Roofing & Reconstruction
13332 Bee Street
Dallas, TX 75234